This Assault Rifle was designed to address the numerous flaws of the M-16/M-4 series, and to provide a sister weapon to the OICW. The XM-8 Assault Rifle Carbine is derived from the rifle portion of the OICW (which is itself derived from the G-36), but does not have the grenade launcher or computerized sight attached. It is a modular construction weapon allowing the weapon to be modified for a variety of different uses and with a large amount of accessories and optics. The furniture is almost entirely made of high-strength polymer, and does not get hot to the touch like a metal rifle. It can also be molded with a variety of camouflage finishes.
Five models of the XM-8 assault rifle are contemplated at present: the standard XM-8 Carbine, the XM-8 Compact carbine, two other XM-8s with 10-inch and XM-8s with 14.5-inch barrels, and a Designated Marksman (DMAR) version with a 20-inch barrel, bipod, and a higher-powered scope. The Compact Carbine can be used with or without a buttstock; both have a telescoping stock (which in the case of the Compact Carbine can be removed completely, reducing the weight to 2.23 kg). The two intermediate-length XM-8’s are being experimented with, but probably will not make the cut, though they may be built and issued in small number for special applications.
The DMAR is not exactly a sniper rifle, but more a tactical sharpshooting weapon; while the standard “scope” of the XM-8 Assault Rifle has no magnification, and is used only to increase efficiency of aiming, the DMAR has an actual 3.5x scope. The magazines are semitransparent polymer 30-round magazines. It is anticipated that the XM-8 will begin field tests in 2005. Twilight 2000/Merc 2000 Notes: This weapon does not exist in these timelines.